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  • Caitlyn Burge-Surles

Sen. Cruz Introduces Bill to Protect Border Agents

Ted Cruz and other members of a Republican delegation attend a press conference after a tour around a section of the U.S.-Mexico border on a Texas Highway Patrol vessel in Mission, Texas, March 26, 2021.


Yesterday U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced the Agent Raul Gonzalez Officer Safety Act to criminalize those who flee arrest by law enforcement within 100 miles of the border, enforcing 2-20 years in prison and up to life in prison.


The namesake of this legislation, Border Patrol Agent Raul Gonzalez, died in the midst of pursuing illegal immigrants on December 7, 2022 when his ATV crashed in Mission. Sen. Cruz has similarly memorialized Agent Gonzalez in a June bill renaming the McAllen United States Postal Service the Agent Raul H. Gonzalez Jr. Memorial Post Office.


The bill is meant to act as a deterrent to those who flee law enforcement at the border, permanently barring any illegal immigrant who flees from attaining legal citizenship. Furthermore, the prison sentencing for illegal immigrants who run from law enforcement escalates to up to two years in prison, with 5-20 in the case of an injury and up to life in the case of a death.


This legislation also places a check on the Biden administration by forcing the Department of Justice to report occurrences of prosecutions related to the Act.


The bill is co-sponsored by Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), and was introduced into the House by Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-Ariz.-6).


Sen. Cornyn said that the border disaster was “devastating Texas communities” and hoped that his fellow legislators would “pass [the Act] without delay.” Rep. Ciscomani asserted that his “district sees high-speed car chases coming through our communities every day, putting both the lives of Arizonans and Border Patrol agents in jeopardy.” This bill, according to Rep. Ciscomani, would “send a signal to any bad actors illegally coming through the southern border that their actions have dire consequences.”


When the bill was introduced, Sen. Cruz said himself that the open border is a “threat to public safety” and noted the grisly reality that “these high-speed chases often end in tragedy, with people being killed regularly after the traffickers crash and passengers are thrown across the highway.”


Sen. Cruz noted that these chases can result in deaths of bystanders as well. “My bill offers much-needed support to Border Patrol agents who are risking their lives daily serving an administration where the political leadership undermines them.”


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